Greenwich Village Sunday
Synopsis from distributor's release sheet is as follows:
Though somewhat removed in time from the day of the Indians and the separate Colonial Village it once was, Greenwich Village is still a "happy hunting ground," a place of the spirit. For more than fifty years it has been home and studio to nonconformist artists, writers, actors. Bohemian, beat or just plain citizen, the Village is dear to its loyal residents.
Sundays the center of the Village is the circle in Washington Square Park, where banjos, guitars, bongos and singers clamor in harmony -- sweet or strong -- where Villagers meet old friends and make new ones; and tourists and visitors join in the friendly throng.
Twice yearly since the first decade of the century, the world's largest outdoor art show is held. Here "abstract expressionists, romantic idealists, drippers and splatterers, the best and the worst, can be found."
Vivid color and original music for recorder, guitar and bass assist the camera in this creative study. Here we see the remaining old hidden gardens, secret treasures, old world customs such as the Festival of San Gennaro. By day this is a glory of floats, parades, displays of exotic food. At night it is ablaze with the lights and mystery of the old country. For those who wish, there are the espresso cafes filled with smoke and the constant talk of art, politics and love; and resounding with the tempo of jazz and the declamations of the poet as he beats out his own rhythm in impassioned exhortations to life.
New York City Bohemians lifestyles counterculture 1960s street musicians beats beatniks Italian Americans
Subject: Jean Shepherd?
Subject: Captures a Time but does not Define It
Lois Nettleton, who plays the debutante in this short was an actress who came to NY to study at the famous Actor's Studio, by way of Chicago - where she won the dubious title of Miss Chicago 1948. She was lonely in NY and she was the first call in to Jean Sheppard's late night radio program when it debuted in 1956. She became a regular on that show, known as "the Caller." They actually had a lot in common. "Shep" also was originally from a small Illinois town outside of Chicago. They wound up getting married. Shep did a lot of not terribly cool, but very popular portraits of "Beatnik Culture" in the 50's that made every hipster cringe. Some of them are very funny in a later historical context and also provide the time-place real time of events that were being covered. There was a real tension at this time between the old guard Italians in the Little Italy remnants of the West Village and the "Dirty Beatnik, Commies" - etc. But, much of this was because beat culture was pro-civil rights and establishments like "Cafe Society" broke the color barrier in cabaret entertainment (see Nina Simone). It was this friction that lay behind the political impetus for the Beatnik "riot" which was in fact instigated by Parks Dept. change of policy at the behind closed door request of the Mayor, who was in the Caribbean on vacation when the crackdown was planned. The ACLU came to the Beantniks' defense, and the Parks Dept. and Wagner wound up backing off. There are posters here who conflate a lot of this with the gay culture of the Village also being a target, and they are right to an extent. But, the political pressure from all evidence came more from the "Hunt and Game Club" types against the "Beatnik Kids, sandals and the African American artists and musicians who were welcome and respected by them in poetry, music and art. This is the kind of incredible find that provides the real data of time and place that makes the Internet Archives the treasure it is.- JwPhillips NY 2015 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Lois Nettleton was the prim lady in this film.
Subject: Soothing and Innocent
Highs: It could relax a comodities trader.
Lows: Not really gripping.
Subject: Deb's Nostalgie de la Boue
She wears a demure striped separate set with a peter pan collar, telling us that she is from "somewhere else", and her parents would likely kill her if they knew she was rubbing elbows with this artsy riffraff.
A Neil Diamond-looking tough with a greasy D.A. and a folk guitar on his back seems to be stalking her all over the Village. They never quite hook up, though.
No mention, of course, is made in this 1960 film, that Greenwich Village was a mecca for gays and heroin addicts-- even in 1960. A black guy rates a moment in this film's spotlight-- but no queers!
It's interesting to me how, even though Greenwich Village was meant to be "artsy", that everyone's clothing in this film is so drab-colored... most people are wearing neutrals and monochromes. No wonder "The Sixties" had to happen.
Subject: A vanished Greenwich Village
Subject: Ooh, look at all them hippies!
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.
Subject: Great Pictures, Dull Narration
Subject: I'm hep to that!